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Thursday, 30 July, 2020
Against a backdrop of global financial uncertainty, bidders are spending big at auction. But while one may expect a peak in investors stockpiling gold and quality jewellery, West Midlands auction house Cuttlestones has noticed an uplift in prices across the board – with some surprises along the way.
Having adjusted its business model during lockdown to 100% online auctions to safeguard both staff and customers at its sale rooms in Penkridge and Wolverhampton, the firm has reaped the benefits; attracting a new audience of bidders – and seeing an uplift in prices along the way.
‘Traditional’ big-sellers – such as collectible coins, watches, fine jewellery and gold continue to perform well, with sellers able to rest assured that lots will sell based on their intrinsic value rather than the dreaded ‘scrap price’. For example, a single-owner collection of coins that went under the hammer during a standalone sale in May achieved over £60,000; while a private collection of jewellery during a July sale in Wolverhampton sold for a total in excess of £25,000 – with a sapphire pendant seeing the hammer fall at £11,000.
However, the uplift has also been noticed in lots that have been ‘off-trend’ until recently, as Ben explains:
“We’ve got a global audience of engaged bidders who are willing to part with their cash, so there really has never been a better time to sell at auction. Even ‘traditional’ ceramics which, until recently, held limited appeal, as flying – for example, a tray of Royal Albert Floral Crown teaware, which a few months ago would have struggled to achieve £100, saw the hammer fall at £950; whilst Lot 125 – a tray of mixed Wedgwood Jasperware – achieved £320.
“These are the kind of things that many households have so, why not clear out the clutter or part with that tea service that’s been languishing in the loft for the past decade?”
Other lots that out-performed their expected values included a 1995 Mini sidewalk which sold for £4,100; a pair of vintage Dior sunglasses that fetched £45; a set of six Royal Paragon art deco cups and saucers that sold for £600 and a tray of LP records including The Rolling Stones, The Scorpions, ToTo and others that achieved £180. Another area that is performing particularly well is Mid-Century modern furniture – six G-Plan dining chairs went for £230 back in July, with a G-Plan vintage teak sideboard selling for £300 in the same sale.
For a free, no obligation valuation of jewellery or other antiques and collectibles, email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or send via WhatsApp to 07949 603872. A full sale calendar as well as catalogues for forthcoming sales can be found at www.cuttlestones.co.uk